According to the Companion Animals Act 1998, cats are considered “free-roaming animals” which means they are allowed to roam in public places and onto private property without being confined to their owner’s property.  Cats cover a wide territory and will generally return to their home. Singleton Council is unable to pick up cats as it’s difficult to tell a stray from a pet.

You may only seize a cat if it is reasonable and necessary for the protection of any person or animal (other than vermin) from injury or death. If you seize the cat, it must be returned to its owner or delivered to an authorised officer of the council, or caused to be delivered to the council pound, as soon as possible.  Failure to do so is an offence.

A cat is classified a nuisance if it makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort, or convenience of any person in any other premises, or repeatedly damages anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept. If a cat is causing a nuisance in your area, the first step is to try to talk to the cat’s owner and politely explain the problem.  They may not be aware of the issues their cat is causing, and a friendly conversation can often resolve the problem.

Here are some other steps you can take to manage nuisance cats:

1. Use deterrents: including motion- activated sprinklers, noise machines. Citrus scents.

2. Block access: Block access to areas that cats are attracted to, such as garden beds and sandpits, by using physical barriers such as mesh fencing or chicken wire.

3. Remove resources: Remove food and water as cats may be attracted to the yard knowing the resources are available.

4. Use repellents: There are several natural repellents that you can use to deter cats, including citrus peels, vinegar, and lavender.

Singleton Council can only take action against nuisance cats if the cat owner can be identified.